- Revisiting Lombroso
- Biology and Crime
- Parenting and Crime
- The Psychology of Criminal Conduct
- Risk Factors and Crime
- Social Learning and Crime
- Hirschi’s Criminology
- General Strain and Urban Youth Violence
- Social Support and Crime
- Life-Course-Persistent Offenders
- Change in Offending across the Life Course
- Two Approaches to Developmental/Life-Course Theorizing
- Peer Networks and Crime
- Contemporary Gang Ethnographies
- Girls, Friends, and Delinquency
- Gender and Theories of Delinquency
- Neighborhood Ties, Control, and Crime
- Community, Inequality, and Crime
- Street Culture and Crime
- The Code of the Suburb and Drug Dealing
- Social Institutions and Crime
- The Market Economy and Crime
- Immigration and Crime
- Choosing Street Crime
- Choosing White-Collar Crime
- Emotions, Choice, and Crime
- Routine Activity Theory
- The Theory of Target Search
- Crime Places and Place Management
- Multilevel Criminal Opportunity
- Coercion and Crime
- Green Criminology
- Perceptual Deterrence Theory
- The Effects of Imprisonment
- Coercive Mobility
Abstract and Keywords
“Opportunity makes the thief” is a saying that emphasizes one thing: crime requires not only the presence of a willing offender but also an opportunity. Based on this notion, even the most motivated offender cannot commit a crime unless he sees an opportunity to do so. The concept of opportunity is therefore important in explaining why crime incidents occur across persons and their property. Routine activity theory, proposed by Lawrence E. Cohen and Marcus Felson, offers an account of how opportunities for crime arise through the day-to-day activities carried out by individuals to meet their needs. Individuals have different routines of life—traveling to and from work, going to school or attending religious functions, shopping, recreating, communicating via various electronic technologies, etc.—and these variations determine the likelihood of when and where a crime will be committed and who or what is the victim. This article examines theoretical and methodological issues relevant to testing routine activity theory and reviews major empirical findings from the extant literature.
Arelys Madero-Hernandez is a doctoral student in Criminal Justice at the University of Cincinnati.
Bonnie S. Fisher is Professor of Criminal Justice and a Fellow of the Graduate School at the University of Cincinnati. Professor Fisher is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences’ Panel on Measuring Rape and Sexual Assault. Her research interests include the sexual victimization of college women and crime prevention on college campuses. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Justice, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, and the Bureau of Justice Assistance, and published in multiple scientific journals. Her 2010 book (with Leah E. Daigle and Francis T. Cullen) Unsafe in the Ivory Tower: The Sexual Victimization of College Women was the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Book Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.
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